10-18-2011By Human Rights Defenders
Human Rights First
In September, Human Rights First highlighted the cases of a number of Chinese human rights defenders at risk. Since that blog post, the circumstances of two defenders have changed significantly.
Li Fangping is a prominent human rights lawyer who represented a number of high-profile cases regarding victims of political and religious persecution. In April 2011, he was kidnapped and held in an unknown location. He wasreleased on May 4, 2011, following six days in secret detention. The AP reported that following his release, Li hewed to the practice of many human rights defenders and declined to give details about his detention.
Chen Guangcheng, a blind human rights lawyer, had been detained since the rejection of his final appeal in 2007. He was released from prison in September 2010, but continues to be detained under house arrest enforced by “police and thugs to keep outsiders away.” Again according to the AP, Chen’s captors have beaten him unconscious on at least one occasion and do not allow his six-year old daughter to leave the house to attend school. His home confinement has attracted the attention of activists who attempt to visit him despite government efforts to deter visitors.